Thistle Initiatives was founded by James Dingwall & Paul Smith. Thistle is very clear in its objectives; we need to add value.
Currently we have more than 70 talented people working with us and a bank of approximately 2500 contractors to assist our clients. Skills range from assisting an IFA who needs help with a suitability audit to a retail bank who needs a project manager and a team of people to deliver a complex enforcement project – at Thistle we aim to cater for all your needs.
Overall, we have a guiding mission – to be the leader in the UK’s financial services regulatory advisory market and to become an acknowledged technical authority, offering tailored advice, support and education, adding real value and a competitive edge to our clients.
We also seek to maintain a diverse workforce in which the different contributions made by all employees, through the variety of their personalities, experiences and perspectives, creates a stimulating and rewarding working environment. Having colleagues from many different backgrounds gives us deeper insights into consumer needs and enhances our relationships with all our stakeholders.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
James is founder and CEO of Thistle Initiatives Limited and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment.
James' knowledge and understanding of the regulatory environment from both a legal and commercial perspective has led him to speak at a number of industry conferences and to provide commentary for the FT on contemporaneous issues.
Prior to starting Thistle, James worked for two of the Big Four, holding senior positions in both and leading many large scale, high-profile projects. James also acts as a business advisor to some of the UK's leading entrepreneurs and private investors. He is also a keen investor himself in start-up ventures and has been involved in a number of successful transactions.
Mike is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants with 16 years' experience in both public practice and industry, holding senior and board level positions for most of that time
During his time in practice Mike oversaw a diverse corporate client portfolio dealing extensively in financial services, risk management and corporate/capital restructuring.
Mike specialises in Prudential Regulation and Capital Adequacy Requirements, assisting firms not only with their regulatory reporting obligations but also preparing and advising on ICAAP's, Stress Testing and Pillar 3 disclosures.
Paul, initially qualifying as a lawyer in the early 1980's, has many years experience of the insurance sector, originally as an underwriter and then building up a large MGA which eventually employed over 250 people. During this time he oversaw the introduction of an FCA approved compliance regime and the business as a whole was always run to a high standard.
Paul is Director of Insurance at Thistle and assists firms with all elements of FCA requirements, from designing and implementing new insurance products, dealing with the FCA on supervision and enforcement matters, specifically in relation to claims and inbound & outbound direct-to-consumer selling. Paul is also a keen investor and involved with a number of start-up businesses.
Head office: Thistle Initiatives
80 Coleman Street
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7436 0630